Wanderlust Festival canceled: Festival organizers cite coronavirus, Squaw officials say event was already in bad standing with resort | SierraSun.com

Wanderlust Festival canceled: Festival organizers cite coronavirus, Squaw officials say event was already in bad standing with resort

This year's Wanderlust Festival at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows has been canceled along with the rest of the festival's U.S. dates.
Courtesy of Wanderlust Festival

After more than a decade of putting on yoga and lifestyle events in the North Tahoe area and around the country, the Wanderlust Festival has canceled its 2020 U.S. dates.

Festival organizers announced the cancellation on March 1, via a social media post, linking the reason for calling off this year’s festival dates to the coronavirus.

“Sadly, we will not be mounting our 2020 events in the USA due to complications around the coronavirus situation,” organizers posted on the festival’s social media channels.

After the festival’s partners in Asia canceled events in China, Singapore, and several other nations, according to a statement from Wanderlust CEO Sean Hoess, organizers were left in a financial bind.

“Those cancellations have had a significant impact on the financial position of our parent company here in the U.S.,” wrote Hoess, “and raise the question of whether it would be prudent to put our three planned U.S. events on sale in the coming weeks. After careful considerations of our options, and weighing the real possibility of future corona-related disruptions here, we have come to the very difficult decision that we will not continue with our 2020 events in the United States.”

However, the status of this July’s festival, according to officials from Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows and North Lake Tahoe Resort Association Director of Communications & Public Relations Liz Bowling, was already in question prior to the announcement.

“Transparently, the status of the 2020 Wanderlust Festival in Squaw Valley was already in question prior to that announcement,” said Alex Spychalsky, public relations specialist for Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, in an email. “Wanderlust’s business position with the Squaw Valley festival was not in good standing, and Squaw Valley planners were considering cancellation of the 2020 event.”

Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows has hosted much of the festival’s different events and activities in past years.

Aside from Wanderlust, the resort was also hit with the cancellation of one of the biggest ski competitions of the year when U.S. Ski & Snowboard announced on Thursday that next weekend’s U.S. Freestyle Moguls National Championships would not be held.

“As far as any other events, we expect the status of coronavirus to continue evolving,” added Spychalsky. “And will adjust our operations and communications accordingly based on the latest information and recommendations.”

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at jscacco@sierrasun.com or 530-550-2643.

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